I get angry sometimes. It’s probably the red hair.
Newsrooms around the country are shrinking at a time when most other forms of media still get the bulk of their information gathering from newspapers. A lot more people are focusing more on news from their Twitter or Facebook feed memes as opposed to actual reality.
And the 24-hour news cycle is often times so petty we’re talking about Kardashsians instead of the Kremlin.
But what particularly gets me turning beet red is when political figures openly undermining the role of the media in a democracy. That crooked, dastardly media that has the sole objective of collecting information somehow gets everything wrong. Usually because it’s because the media has released an unflattering story about the political figure and they have no facts to refute it.
You might be bewildered right now with the polar opposites in this country right now. How can that other side think this or that? Because they get their news from alternative news sources and their political figures that they equate to truth and not the mainstream media. They’re in their own little echo chamber with very little room to explore different angles and viewpoints.
But this happens because these alternative news sources and politicians claim that mainstream media is skewed and biased, then turn around and offer their own skewed and biased story.
And this “trust me, not the media” thing gets out of hand. The media isn’t perfect. I’m not saying that. But if you keep up with the news and read a wide range of stories, you’ll be more adept to how the world actually works than listening to what your favorite politician says.
One only has to do a couple quick Google searches to realize politicians lie all the time. They lie to their party during the primaries. They lie to the American people to get elected. They lie through their teeth to explain why something happened during their term.
(And I don’t think this is news. If you somehow think a lie has never been told in American politics, I’m sure you also believe in the tooth fairy, the Mariners winning the World Series and tinfoil hats as an acceptable brand of headwear)
So on what grounds are we supposed to trust them 100 percent without another entity to keep them in check?
This election season has been particularly depressing, not just because on both sides of the coin we have some extremely disappointing candidates but also because of the amount of vitriol and venom that has been spewed at the mainstream media.
Yes we get it, the mainstream media has its issues. They’re like any business in America and they’re trying to report on the things that will earn money. The media this day and age is still an important key to a functioning republic and with today’s technology is has a further reach. With polarizing political views, it still needs to serve as an anchor for reality.
Journalists go to school for years. They spend countless hours working up the ladder, honing their skills and developing their methods for delivering news to the public. Is there bias? Yes, but it’s varied along the wide spectrum of media. Do they try to get it right? The overwhelming majority of journalists just want to get the story right.
Beholding your world view on the politician that is just focused on getting you to do what they say is not a good idea. Instead of a balanced picture, it turns perverted in one direction. You’re basically surrendering your ability to think.
No media source is saying “trust us and only us.” That’s something a con man would say. They’re putting the information out there because that is what they do. The disrespect and outright dismissal of mainstream media because it doesn’t fit some politicians PR talking points is a sign that they have very little regard for anything except what they want to happen.
That’s certainly not what you want in a republic style of government. Politicians dictating the perception of reality around us would negate any sort of benefit we would have with being able to vote.
So the next time somebody on a podium says “Trust me, not the media,” maybe it’s time to really question if you should trust anything they say.
By Brandon Hansen / Brandon is the managing editor of the Chewelah Independent.